Top USA Bordeaux-style blends

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Bordeaux blends, Ridge Mont Bello 2008
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Ridge, Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains 2008

Ridge has long created a Californian classic  that broke all the rules – a Cabernetbased wine grown not in Napa but on greenstone- and limestone-rich soils in the remote corners of the Santa Cruz Mountains, aged not in French oak but American. (Though Paul Draper asserts Bordeaux’s use of French oak is a post-World War I turn.) The Merlot comes from plots on heavier soils. It accounts for 28% of the 2008 which, coming after two drought years, shows great meatiness. Amid the youthful oak toast is black tea, anise, cedar shavings and bright currant, plus an intense mineral energy and beautifully finessed tannins. 19.5pts/20
Price: £115 Berry Bros & Rudd, Imbibros
Drink: 2012–2030
Alc: 13.3%